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Asthma pill could reduce symptoms in severe sufferers research shows

The first new asthma pill for nearly 20 years has the power to significantly reduce the severity of the condition, a study led by our University has found.

The research was funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the EU (AirPROM), and is described by the lead researcher as “a game changer for future treatment of asthma.”

Three people die every day because of asthma attacks and research shows that two thirds of asthma deaths are preventable, according to Asthma UK. Fevipiprant (QAW039) significantly decreased the symptoms of asthma, improved lung function, reduced inflammation and repaired the lining of airways.

The drug is currently being evaluated in late stage clinical trials for efficacy in patients with severe asthma, according to ClinTrials.gov. 

Professor Christopher Brightling (pictured with microscope) from the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, said: “A unique feature of this study was how it included measurements of symptoms, lung function using breathing tests, sampling of the airway wall and CT scans of the chest to give a complete picture of how the new drug works.

“Most treatments might improve some of these features of disease, but with Fevipiprant improvements were seen with all of the types of tests. We already know that using treatments to target eosinophilic airway inflammation can substantially reduce asthma attacks. This new treatment, Fevipiprant, could likewise help to stop preventable asthma attacks, reduce hospital admissions and improve day-to-day symptoms- making it a ‘game changer’ for future treatment.”

Professor Brightling added that the latest advance underpinned the work of the Leicester Precision Medicine Institute, a Centre of Excellence that coalesces and aligns the research missions of the University of Leicester and the NHS in Leicester.

Listen to an interview with Professor Brightling below:

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